Effects of sample size, ability distribution, and the length of Markov Chain Monte Carlo burn-in chains on the estimation of item and testlet parameters
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Item Response Theory (IRT) models are the basis of modern educational measurement. In order to increase testing efficiency, modern tests make ample use of groups of questions associated with a single stimulus (testlets). This violates the IRT assumption of local independence. However, a set of measurement models, testlet response theory (TRT), has been developed to address such dependency issues. This study investigates the effects of varying sample sizes and Markov Chain Monte Carlo burn-in chain lengths on the accuracy of estimation of a TRT model’s item and testlet parameters. The following outcome measures are examined: Descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlations between known and estimated parameters, and indices of measurement effectiveness for final parameter estimates.